Is my harddrive dying?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by nitropowered, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. nitropowered macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    I've noticed in the past few days that I get a lot of beach balls, and I hear the hdd seeking a lot.

    I did an xbench test but I have nothing to compare it to.
    My Powerbook is a 12" 1.33 and its got the 80gig 5400rpm HDD option.

    Results 39.77
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.1.3
    System Version 10.4.1 (8B15)
    Physical RAM 1280 MB
    Model PowerBook6,4
    Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.33 GHz
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.33 GHz
    Bus Frequency 167 MHz
    Video Card GeForce FX Go5200
    Drive Type TOSHIBA MK8026GAX
    Disk Test 39.77
    Sequential 33.66
    Uncached Write 20.29 8.46 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 22.48 9.21 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 90.63 14.35 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 71.31 28.81 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 48.58
    Uncached Write 42.25 0.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 37.16 8.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 57.87 0.38 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 69.07 14.21 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  2. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    When the hard drive went bad in my old laptop, it started making some weird clicking noises. It got worse, eventually just kept clicking repeatedly. The computer appeared to lock up while this occurred. Anything like that going on, or just the normal seeking noise? Have you tried Apple Hardware Test?
  3. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    Where is the apple hardware test. I thought it was on its seperate cd but I looked in my powerbook's packaging and only found the install/restore cds.
  4. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    I found my hardware test cd and ran the extended test. Everything was fine. I'm in the process of wiping clean and reinstalling tiger now (So much easier since all apple computers have firewire disk mode)

    I'm not sure when I bought the computer, around this time last year.

    Hopefully everything turns out alright. Too bad the 12" is really hard to get into as I would swap out the HDD myself (if it is bad)
  5. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    Ok, I have to bump this and update the status.

    I did a clean install of Tiger and ran Xbench (I actually messed around with case-sensitive HFS+ but broke many apps so I redid it again). I got good scores. I was happy so I reinstalled my apps and my data backups.

    It was going good for about a week. Now its doing it again. I ran xbench again and now my disk score is pathetic, 1.26!!! When I restarted the computer, it took over 20 minutes to boot. I'm not even going to try xbench again because it'll probably take all day.

    The weird thing is, when I go to Disk Utility, S.M.A.R.T. Status is still "Verified".

    Do you think its a hardware problem or a Tiger Problem?

    I guess I still have my warrantee left so I guess I should take it to the repair center at my school and get the hard drive replaced. They are Apple Certified but when my roommate last year got his hard drive replaced in his Thinkpad (warrantee work), they took over a week. Maybe now since school's out the turn-around time might be shorter.

    Better get on to backing up the drive again
  6. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It certainly sounds like a hardware problem. I used the AppleCare CD, which is essential Tech Tools Pro, it didn't alert to a problem. Apple ended up replacing the hard drive. Good luck nitropowered, I'm a native Buckeye myself. I agree that the turn around should be faster on your PowerBook this time of year.
  7. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    I got a call from the repair center. The tech said he found nothing wrong with it. I don't know what the deal is. He claims he "ran hours of extensive tests and it passed with flying colors."

    I don't know how that explains my xbench HDD test score of 1.26. He said he'll call me later for a quote on a new drive.

    I know there is something wrong with the drive, don't know why it doesn't show up on anything.

    What should I do? I have about a month and a half on my 1yr warranty left. Go to a different place (probably a 2 hr drive)?

    I'm gonna go in there and show him the pathetic xbench score.
  8. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    I had the same problem with my 12" PB. The hard drive sounded like it was constantly seeking, not so much a clicking sound and I got numerous beach balls to the point of having to restart OSX, but even doing so, it would not get past the gray screen. This happened for several days in a row, until finally fed up, i whacked the side of the PB really hard. Somehow, the HD got "unstuck" and fortunately, everything worked perfectly after that. But I must say, the 2.5" HD is pretty finicky. I'm slated to upgrade to a 100GB 7200RPM HD by next year.
  9. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    I don't know if the drive is "stuck" or not. I really don't want to risk it and since my warrenty is expiring soon, I want it replaced.

    Maybe I'll take it back and mess around with it and take it back in when it starts getting slow or take a video of it or something.
  10. MarsViolet macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2003
    free space

    Make sure you're not running low on disk space. Mac OS X likes for you to keep 15 to 20% of your hard disk free at all times so the OS has room to write swap memory to disk. I would try to free up at least 10 GB of free space.
  11. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
  12. Eluon macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    My iBook 12in G4 does the same thing. It makes a clicking/spinning noise and now it won't even turn on. I am so mad because it is out of warranty (just a lil over a year) and Apple won't fix it. :mad:
  13. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    Go to the disk utility in the utilities folder. Open it and click your your disk inthe left pane. Check the S.M.A.R.T. status in the bottom of the window. If it doesn't say verified you may have a problem.

    for more info on SMART
  14. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    His S.M.A.R.T status shows "verified", so he's already done that. Unfortunately, DiskWarrior doesn't help with Tiger, as far as rebuilding Directory, I'm not sure where TechTools is with 10.4 since I don't have it. One other thing you might check is your fonts:
  15. nitropowered thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    Let me recap my status.

    S.M.A.R.T. says verified.
    Disk check reveals no problems.
    Apple Hardware Test reveals no problems.
    Pathetic XBench scores. Disk score of 1.26.
    Everything is slow in Tiger.
    The tech's at the repair center claimed they ran 5 hours of test with no problems.
    Constant seeking and clicking sounds.
    Startup took over 30 minutes.
    Powerbook was plugged in the wall so its not a low battery power issue.
    I've reformatted and reinstalled Tiger twice.

    I had to go in the repair center and set things straight. I threatened to take it to some other repair center (even though they are Apple Certified). I also showed them my xbench benchmark. Apparently, the guy that was doing my work and called me was just an apprentice working under the "Master" technician. The "Master" said he would get the drive ordered and installed. They also asked if they wanted me to back up and transfer data. I told them I just wanted the drive installed and they didn't have to do anything about installing or transfering files (as I was already fed up with them.)

    Sometimes you have to show up talk to people in person if you want it done right.
  16. mkubal macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    The period of time after reinstall sounded really familiar to me. I had a hard drive that would beachball the computer like yours. I reinstalled the OS and it worked great for a week and then it started making the horrible scratching sound again at which point I replaced the drive. It still works fine to this day. Very strange that dying drives will work ok for a while after reinstall. Oh well, hope all goes well with the new drive.

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